An American political consultant has admitted being paid by an intermediary in 1994 arms sales for advising the campaign of French presidential hopeful Edouard Balladur, a French daily reported on Saturday.
Manafort also told investigators that he met with officials in Balladur’s unsuccessful 1995 presidential campaign, Liberation said. French investigators suspect a web of corruption behind the sale of sub-marines from France to Pakistan, with illegal funds going to the Balladur campaign in a scandal known as the “Karachi affair”.
Former French president Sarkozy is also linked to the affair. According to reports, Manafort admitted to being paid by Abdul Rahman al Assir, one of two intermediaries brought in at the last minute to sign arms deals with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Investigators say Manafort, his public relations company or his associates received a total of at least $200,000 between September 1994 and August 1995.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.